Jon Waters to Ohio State: If School Reinstates Me, I'll Help Fix the Band's Culture

By DJ Byrnes on August 5, 2014 at 11:36a

Waters on the Today Show

232 Comments

Jon Waters made one thing clear today: He's not going down without stating his side of the story. As if he's willing to sue Ohio State, that remains somewhat unclear.

The former director of the Ohio State University marching band delivered a series of interviews with The Today ShowGood Morning America and the Columbus Dispatch.

The common theme throughout was, "I was fixing the culture." 

waters on the today show

Of the two television interviews, this was the better one.

Here, Waters starts by refusing to take the Savannah Guthrie's bait of labeling himself a scapegoat, but does mention the entrenched nature of the band's culture. He cites the 1930s as its origin.

Waters says he'd already eliminated "activities" from the band, and states the report was "shocking" due to its "inaccuracy and one-sided nature."

Waters adds this media blitz is part of him standing up for "our students."

Guthrie then runs down the lists of specific "activities" mentioned in the report and asks Waters, point blankly, if he was aware.

"I was aware," Waters concedes, "and I took great steps to eliminate them." He says he's eliminated things like the Midnight Ramp and rookie hazing.

Guthrie then points out the school alleges Waters didn't start his reforms until after the investigation had started. She asks, "Why didn't you just end it on your first day?"

Waters again falls back on the "entrenched culture" defense, and admits he couldn't turn it "on a dime." He contends, however, he did meet with his "leadership committee" on "the first day" in attempts to "shape the culture." He goes onto cite numerous "leadership training programs" he instituted.

Guthrie, however, doesn't buy it. She goes as far to label some of Waters defense "nonsense." And again questions why he refused to take a hard-hand with culture reforms he admits the band needed.

Waters contends he did take   hard-handed approach on day one. He says the report cities incidents that occurred before he was the director of the band.

Guthrie then interjects to remind him he was assistant band director for ten years prior to becoming director.

Waters concedes the point, but contends he couldn't shape "total policy" during his time as assistant director.

Waters then laments the unfinished business he left behind with the band. Waters says he has the support of the band members, because they read the report and said, "This is not the band that we know."

Guthrie then asks if Waters will sue the university in order to get his dream job back.

Waters rebuffs her on the legal front, and says his mission here is simply here to "set the record straight." He argues the shows of grandeur the band pulled off last season would not have been possible if the culture was as corroded as the university argued. 

Guthre, in what becomes the last question, asks again if he'll "try to get his job back."

Waters replies he'd simply "love an opportunity" to work with Ohio State to fix the band's culture.

Jon Waters on good morning america

Here, Waters states the characterization of the band's culture as "an Animal House fraternity" is "just not accurate."

Waters argues the 92-pages of evidence against him argues about the sample size of interviews included in the investigation. 

Waters again refuses to label himself a scapegoat, but does concede he sees himself as a "victim of a rush to judgement and a very inaccurate report."

Walters also argues he was battling against a band culture that had been "entrenched since the 1930s." 

The former director also claims none of his superiors ever approached him with a problem about the band's culture. In fact, Waters claims he "realized that himself." 

WATERS IN THE DISPATCH

In an interview with Columbus' only major daily newspaper, Waters again stressed he'd help Ohio State fix the band's culture, but only if he's reinstated:

“I love my job, and I would love to absolutely come back to lead those students that I love, and to engage in the work that unfortunately I was not permitted to finish,” Waters said. “My hope in all of this is that Ohio State will — the university that I love — will take a step back and engage me in a dialogue as to the cultural issues that were reported.”

The university, however, went ahead with their plan to ultimately replace Waters. Yesterday, the named Russel Mikkelson and Scott Jones, two leaders from within the School of Music, to oversee the band this year on an interim basis.

“I unequivocally support the decision to terminate the former marching-band director and the measures taken to ensure that the culture of the marching band aligns with our institutional values,” Jeffrey Wadsworth, chairman of the OSU board of trustees, said in a statement yesterday.


While Waters never said he had plans to sue Ohio State, he never took it off the table in any of the three interviews. 

At this point, he seems content with merely offering Ohio State an olive branch, and Ohio State seems equally content with not taking it.

If Jon Waters truly wants his job back, it appears his only recourse will be through America's legal system.

232 Comments

Comments

Killer nuts's picture

I'm happy he got an opportunity to share his side in the public eye. At the same time I'd be happy if this story goes away quickly, the band continues to be the best in the land and football season starts

+18 HS
808buckeye's picture

I feel bad for the guy and I hope Michael Drake isn't Karen Holbrook 2.0. That would suck donkey balls 

seize the carpe

+30 HS
buckeye4life050233's picture

yea it was stupid to post and I deleted it, my bad

-13 HS
rdubs's picture

I am not sure what the point of this comment is.  Frankly since Drake has been here for all of 3 seconds I am not sure why you were assuming he would or wouldn't do any thing given that he has no track record at OSU.  Statements like this also discount any potential minority hire without any justification.  It could be the next director is a minority and it could be that he/she is an amazing band director.

+10 HS
Barnsey69's picture

Since when does hiring a minority for anything become a "liberal thing"? I'm quite sure the large, and growing, contingent of conservative minorities in this country are DVing your stereotypical comment. 

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes!

+3 HS
d5k's picture

If your post begins with "I'm going to get Dv'ed to death" you might not want to press the red button.

+18 HS
jeremytwoface's picture

Moreover, if you say anything like "politics are supposed to stay out of the forum, but...." you probably shouldn't post what you're about to post.

There's a reason that is in the commenting policy.

The first man gets the ((((Oyster)))), the second man gets the shell.

+13 HS
Oyster's picture

If you threaten to tell somebody's wife about a hot (yet psycho) brunette at a wedding, you probably should't post that either...

+8 HS
jedkat's picture

This is off-topic but I cracked up at Jeremytwoface's signature and that Oyster was the next person to comment.

"I was tired of trying to work my way around the back, so I just ran him over"

~ Joey Bosa

+9 HS
jeremytwoface's picture

This is off-topic but I cracked up at Jeremytwoface's signature and that Oyster was the next person to comment.

Oyster is the reason for my signature.

I can't remember why though........... 

The first man gets the ((((Oyster)))), the second man gets the shell.

+1 HS
jeremytwoface's picture

If you threaten to tell somebody's wife about a hot (yet psycho) brunette at a wedding, you probably should't post that either... 

 

The first man gets the ((((Oyster)))), the second man gets the shell.

+2 HS
southbuc's picture

Like when someone starts with "no offense" I am certain I will be offended. 

DoubleB's picture

"With all due respect.... (insert something offensive)." Kills me every time.

I was tired of trying to work my way around the back, so I just ran him over.
-Joey Bosa

+2 HS
Buckeyeneer's picture

I always thought "With all due respect"the north's version of "Bless your heart".

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

+3 HS
osu07asu10's picture

This won't end well for Waters. Fair not, you fight the University in the public eye and you will not win.

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

+6 HS
AndyVance's picture

Generally I agree, but I think he has to speak out in his own defense if he wants gainful employment anywhere in the future. And, not for nothing, the report is a pretty big black eye on an institution we all know and love - he owes it to the current and former members of the band to speak out in their defense as we'll, if he truly believes that the report is an exaggeration or inaccurate portrayal of the organization.

+16 HS
osu07asu10's picture

I won't argue the merits of the report, or the fact that he is speaking out for his defense,..he just will not get Ohio state to budge by taking it public.

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

+2 HS
cronimi's picture

While that may be true, he may pursue damages rather than reinstatement. He wouldn't be the first high-profile firing to win a wrongful termination suit against the University.

+2 HS
d5k's picture

Jim O'Brien had less of a case than Waters.

+14 HS
Chip's picture

Jim O'Brien had a much better case than Waters because he was still under contract, not an at-will employee like Waters.

-1 HS
cronimi's picture

Waters didn't have a contract?!? I guess I just assumed he did. That is a good point though, if true. 

d5k's picture

I should have said "I am not a lawyer but" I suppose.  Good point.

Fatpants's picture

How cute. Savannah "I fawn all over politicians and 'real' celebrities" Guthrie is pretending to be an actual journalist.

+10 HS
Hovenaut's picture

That show had a very good one in Ann Curry, but that's another argument for another day.
 

I am not very smart, but I recognize that I am not very smart.

+9 HS
Floyd Stahl's picture

You speak the truth, Hove.

+1 HS
jpbuckeye's picture

[MOD edit - stay classy, Columbus.]

I sure hope she did.Her entertainment value is similar to the shows I have heard about in Juarez (spelling?). Her value as a "journalist" is in the same neighborhood.

Hee Haw.

+1 HS
osu07asu10's picture

She was a lawyer in a previous life...

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

AndyVance's picture

His comments square with everything we've heard directly from current and alumni members of the band: that the culture was decades in the making, was grossly exaggerated in some instances by the report, and was being addressed during his tenure. Should he have done more sooner? Perhaps. Is he a sacrificial lamb because a media-saturated public needs heads to roll rather than complex solutions over time? Absolutely.

+27 HS
Fatpants's picture

Guy was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

+4 HS
Denny's picture

His comments square with everything we've heard directly from current and alumni members of the band: that the culture was decades in the making, was grossly exaggerated in some instances by the report, and was being addressed during his tenure.

Im not really sure how I feel about the whole firing thing, but the front end of this statement is a definition of insular thinking at its most potent.

Taquitos.

AndyVance's picture

Only if you discount the fact that of the literally thousands of living band members, past and present, we've heard full-throated defenses of Waters and his efforts to change course within the organization from dozens publicly, and I've heard from several privately, corroborating those public statements.

The report, on which this firing was based, takes the accounts of 5 members in a fraternity of more than 5,000. Is that statistically significant to more or less torpedo one man's career? I'd have a hard time pulling that trigger.

As to those who say Waters should have taken a hard hand up front, I say organizational change is not quite so simple. You can take the iron fist approach and almost certainly napalm a generation of the band by eliminating or alienating two or three seasons worth of section leaders and senior upperclassmen, or you take the long view, as Waters allegedly did.

+7 HS
Chip's picture

"Take the long view"?  Seriously?  Waters was PERSONALLY participating in many of these inappropriate traditions, and he admitted in his interview with the administration that he thought it was wrong yet continued to promote it.  

"When asked to estimate how many current nicknames are sexual or offensive, Waters responded that "fifty percent" probably were "questionable." When asked whether he thought such sexual nicknames are appropriate, Waters answered, "No." When asked why he then tolerates such sexual nicknames, Waters replied, 'Good point.'"

Let's stop this absurd narrative that Waters was somehow stuck between a rock and a hard place.  He could have, and should have, put and end to it immediately.  There still would have been a band to trot out on Saturdays, and I'm sure the section leaders would have gotten over the tragedy of no longer being able to call people "Captain Dildo."

Your entire argument is one huge exercise in selection bias.

-2 HS
German Buckeye's picture

Chips leadership style = When I say jump you say how high!  That's a really good model to use to win over people and make organizations run smoothly.

+8 HS
Denny's picture

Only if you discount the fact that of the literally thousands of living band members, past and present, we've heard full-throated defenses of Waters and his efforts to change course within the organization from dozens publicly, and I've heard from several privately, corroborating those public statements.

Come on, Andy. This does nothing to refute the notion of groupthink.

Taquitos.

AndyVance's picture

Come on, Andy. This does nothing to refute the notion of groupthink.

Oh, I suppose that is true; the alternative, however, is to believe that some 5,000 living band alumni (actually, I'm not sure what the real number is - I just did some cocktail napkin figures to make a basic assumption of the pool of potential members affected by the "sexualized culture" of the Band) are all victims of Stockholm Syndrome.

I understand and concede your point - that the people inside the organization are the most likely to resist change, or to see that there is a problem. It is hard to read the label when you're sitting inside the bottle, as author Roy Williams puts it.

That said, I don't agree with the underlying premise in this case - that because groupthink might bias members' feelings/experiences related the subject, that their feelings/experiences are irrelevant to the discussion.

+8 HS
osu07asu10's picture

AV it isn't if the band members or a vast majority of them felt the established culture was right or wrong. It is obviously wrong. I mean come on, there are questionable organized groups all across America and because they say, we aren't harmed by the culture of our group doesn't make it right. For example... NAMBLA?

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

-1 HS
osu07asu10's picture

Hahaha awesome. I think we can all agree on that

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

AndyVance's picture

It is obviously wrong.

Yes, aspects of the culture, or more specifically certain activities of the hazing/rookie rituals were obviously wrong. The more risqué tricks, as an example. Marching in your underwear in a voluntary rite of passage? I don't agree that it is "obviously wrong" in the context.

Also, I agree that the members of the culture are not the only or best arbiter of what is right or wrong in this case, but I also don't believe that their feelings or experiences should be ultimately dismissed out of hand, as some here have suggested.

+2 HS
Chip's picture

I have never seen someone so intelligent so horribly wrong about an issue.  This is Penn State syndrome at its finest.  Andy you need to do some serious reflection. I'm embarrassed that you are a mod for this site.

-11 HS
AndyVance's picture

This is Penn State syndrome at its finest.

I reject out of hand that adults choosing to participate in a Marching Band are in any way comparable to the systematic molestation of underage boys over a period of decades and the systematic coverup by an entire university administration. This is not an acceptable comparison to what happened with the OSUMB on any level whatsoever.

+10 HS
Chip's picture

The severity is not comparable.  What is comparable is people being blindly loyal to their university while ignoring and excusing egregious violations of basic human decency and standards of university education, all while demonstrating extreme selection bias in their supporting arguments.  

-7 HS
M Man's picture

Huh.  Now this is a good one, Chip:

What is comparable is people being blindly loyal to their university while ignoring and excusing egregious violations of basic human decency and standards of university education, all while demonstrating extreme selection bias in their supporting arguments. 

So you think that my "defense," such as it may be, of OSU's Jon Waters is based on blind loyalty to my university?

It's your argument; you straighten it out.

+1 HS
Fatpants's picture

I'd call this "penn state syndrome" if Waters had been raping band members and the admin was covering it up. As the facts currently stand, you seem to be comparing apples to 747s. 

+4 HS
Chip's picture

I see reading comprehension is not your strong suit.

-10 HS
Fatpants's picture

You crack me up kid. 

Say what you will, but this will be my last response to you. 

***don't feed the trolls***

+1 HS
irishfury's picture

Don't let the door hit you on the way out.  Comprehension as a whole isn't your strong suit.  

+1 HS
Deadly Nuts's picture

I'm embarrassed that you are a mod for this site.

Says the guy that joined one month ago...

LEBRON

+7 HS
Chip's picture

I couldn't help but notice that neither you nor the two posters above you addressed the merits of my argument. Shocking!

-6 HS
Deadly Nuts's picture

That's because you're making a terrible argument and it's not worth our time to argue it.

LEBRON

+2 HS
BuckeyeVet's picture

@AndyVance - I have a neice (the one interviewed on the 2 local stations, i.e. "Donk") who was a sousaphone player & "I" dotter for the home Michigan game in 2012. Was in the band for 5 years. She was also one of the students interviewed by OSU. They asked very narrow, selective questions and never ONCE asked her about the "culture" of the band.  According to her:

1. Waters was making changes. Their nickname for him was "the Fun Police" because he was cracking down on things.

2. They never asked her about her nickname or how she felt about it. Or the fact that my sister & brother in law proudly wore their Mom & Dad of Donk shirts to games & events. Both are lawyers & donators to the university. Do you think they might have spoken up if they thought there was a problem?

3. My neice has said the band culture has never been anything but supportive. That bit cited about how few women are in the band? Military style marching bands attract far more men (lugging around bigger instuments than the average band or marching band).  Well, guess what? A far greater percent of squad leaders are female than are represented in the band. Again mis-represented in the report.

4. The students adored him & want him back.

5. It's hard to grow up in a culture (22 years for Waters) and always see it as the outside world sees it.

6. She absolutely feels this is Title IX related. OSU has to investigate, come to a conclusion & act upon it within 60 days of a complaint, or the federal Government can get involved. Canning Waters keeps the feds way. For a passionate and accurate defense of this point of view, go to M Man's account and look through his comments on day one of this fiasco. He nails it.

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx

 

+14 HS
M Man's picture

For a passionate and accurate defense of this point of view, go to M Man's account and look through his comments on day one of this fiasco. He nails it.

Thank you.  And thanks to your niece as well.  Remember that I didn't just lay out the Title IX issue; I also said that my own feeling that the best defense for Waters was not a Change.org petition (although I had no objection), but rather the counter-narrative of band members and band alumni just like your niece.  I hope she reads this and accepts my condolences for the upset that this situation has caused her and all of her fellow band-family.  Telling her story is, beyond any doubt, the right thing to do.

I actually think that many here at 11W are being too hard on Ohio State.  OSU, we should all understand, was and is under enormous federal/White House pressure in this case.  Pressure that I hope and pray is exposed to the best disinfectant of all... sunlight.

Because Jon Waters' immediate goal seems to be to get his job back (and I can't blame him for that), I suspect that Waters is going easy on the Title IX/pressure aspect of this situation.  Because he knows that if he goes on full attack against the politics of Title IX, it will make an already frightened university administration even more squirrely.  So Waters is walking the narrowest of lines.  Saying that he's the best guy to make the band (1) excellent and (2) compliant with the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights' Title IX dictates, without actually uttering "Title IX."   (Waters might well be doing the same if he were interested in another collegiate band job; every institution of higher education is now under the aegis of the post-2011 Title IX.)

+7 HS
Chip's picture

" Is he a sacrificial lamb because a media-saturated public needs heads to roll rather than complex solutions over time? Absolutely."

And you are basing this conclusion on what, exactly?  

-6 HS
osu07asu10's picture

Come on Mods. Laying blame directly on a political initiative (until that argument is blue in the face) gets up votes and questioning that gets dv'd into oblivion?

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

-1 HS
AndyVance's picture

Just for the sake of clarity, Mods don't have phenomenal cosmic powers to alter votes or things of that nature. I agree with you wholeheartedly that opinions - presented in the generally accepted way described in the commenting policy - should not be down voted as a means of disagreement. I have said as much fairly vocally and consistently on other threads and issues. It is frustrating.

osu07asu10's picture

Understood AV. I also understand that as long as the website continues to trumpet (pun intended) the Waters issue that politics are inevitable. I have just seen one member in particular make it strictly and wholeheartedly a political issue and discussion over and over again.

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

+2 HS
Chip's picture

Not hard to guess who that member is.  Between his loyalty to Michigan and his blatant disregard of the posting rules on politics, it's a miracle the mods haven't banned him.

-10 HS
osu07asu10's picture

Fanship aside, that has nothing to do with it.

His point has been made over and over again with a heavy political agenda and he has seemingly skated free of any moderation.

I think by this time we all get his point and the constant hammering home of it gets old. Not to mention at times he's gone out of his way to reply to the first few posts in a forum to make sure we all see.

Just tiresome. His whole argument is politically based and beaten to a pulp.

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

+3 HS
Chip's picture

He has skated free of moderation because the mods agree with his political view.  It's pathetic.  They simply refuse to do their jobs because they approve of his endless rambling.  If they didn't agree with it, you can bet he would be banned in about 30 seconds.

-9 HS
osu07asu10's picture

Again, I'm not going to go there.

I'm not saying that the member's position isn't without merit.

This just isn't the place to discuss politics as the staff and members have established long ago.

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

+2 HS
Chip's picture

Exactly.  The staff here don't want you to discuss politics, unless of course they agree with it, and then it's perfectly acceptable.

-7 HS
Buckeye80's picture

Maybe I'm missing something, but I haven't seen any of the comments be political in nature.  I haven't seen anybody discussing conservative vs liberal, or anything of the sort.  Stating that one believes OSU acted a certain way because of a law is no different than saying I don't drive 85 because the speed limit is 60.  It's only political if you want it to be....

+4 HS
tennbuckeye19's picture

I guess it's good that he's had a chance to share his side of the story but I'm not sure these interviews have helped his cause. It sounds like he's trying to deny that the band culture was sexualized and didn't include hazing or harassment while also saying he tried to fix the culture. If it wasn't sexualized and didn't have other issues, what was he trying to fix? I don't think the guy should've lost his job over all this, but I don't see him getting his position back, either.

+7 HS
AndyVance's picture

Perhaps it's just nuance, but there is a difference between admitting that there were activities or even traditions that ended to be ended or changed and saying there was a complete culture problem. Perhaps what he is saying is that the situation with TBDBITL isn't that the culture is rotten to the core, but just that some of it's activities are no longer acceptable, even if they were 20-30 years ago. I could understand that point of view, actually.

+10 HS
tennbuckeye19's picture

I agree. I just think with the general public seeing him trying to defend himself and already having an opinion on him and the subject matter, him saying there wasn't such a culture and then saying he was trying to change the culture that had been in existence for decades, seem to be contradictory statements. I'm not saying they are, but they can be perceived in that way.

+4 HS
AndyVance's picture

Absolutely. Perception = reality, for better or for worse.

+4 HS
OvalBeachBum's picture

Perception=Reality is something I say all the damn time and it is so true, yet no one seems to realize it.  At no point in our current society does it ever matter what is actually going on, what matters is what the public see's for the 15 seconds that they are paying attention.

"In the words of the late great Colonel Sanders, I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Ricky Bobby

+3 HS
irishfury's picture

Its my fav saying in the world.  I work in business and it holds soooo true.

+1 HS
HoopHal's picture

I think that this was a terrible RUSH to JUDGEMENT by the OSU administration. Every year,it seems, there is some sort of issue that puts Ohio State in the national news in a negative manner. Surely there could have been a much better way to handle this.The OSU administration does not seem to be able to get out of each others way.

+10 HS
Damonbuckeye's picture

I've been saying it for years that tOSU is absolutely horrible in crisis situations and they really need to fix it somehow...

+5 HS
Chip's picture

Typically, they've looked bad in crisis situations because they don't take action quickly enough or they try to explain away stupid things that their employees do.  Here, they handled the problem swiftly after a thorough and lengthy investigation, which is exactly what they should have done.  

-4 HS
elitesmithie's picture

According to alot of people this was the farthest thing from thorough. 

+7 HS
Chip's picture

Yes, people who haven't actually bothered to read the report.  

-10 HS
OvalBeachBum's picture

Judging by your arguments, I tend to think that you are one of the people who haven't read the report...

"In the words of the late great Colonel Sanders, I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Ricky Bobby

irishfury's picture

He is wrong and clearly hasn't.  This also wasn't throughly looked into.

+1 HS
nw_ohio_Buckeye's picture

Strongly disagree. Two months isn't a rush to judgment, imho. "Entrenched" is a cop out. You're the one in charge...you have the power to change it. They're college students. They have to try out every year. Here's the list, you do these things anymore & you're out period, end of story. I love The Ohio State University and TBDBITL is a part of it, however, Mr. Waters put everything he worked so hard for and loved at risk (his dream job) because he wouldn't do the right thing and tell some college kids to act in line with the values espoused by the program. It appears he wanted to be more of a friend instead of a leader. That attitude can very well get you fired. Do the right thing and you won't have to defend yourself. He deserves credit for leading the band to new heights and should be hired by another school, but when this came to light the university had little choice, imho. On to the season and great TBDBITL performances.

"The minute I think I'm getting mellow, I'm retiring. Who ever heard of a mellow winner?" ~ Woody Hayes 

cbusbuckeye's picture

Hate to say this but the traditions will live on in an unregulated manner, college students are college students. The university tried to regulate an unsanctioned tradition in mirror lake last year, didn't exactly turn out successfully. 

+14 HS
Buckeye in Illini country's picture

FREEEDOMMMM!!!!!!

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!

+3 HS
OvalBeachBum's picture

Ms. Adams-Gaston...TEAR DOWN THIS FENCE!

"In the words of the late great Colonel Sanders, I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Ricky Bobby

+2 HS
AC1972's picture

University investigations are a joke and far from fair and thorough. They all have an agenda. 

Furthermore, to create meaningful, cultural change in an organization that has been doing things a certain way for decades takes time. It's ridiculous that one man could both drastically improve the product and completely change the culture overnight. It would take cycling through seasons of band members to change it.

How ignorant for anyone to think culture changes just because someone says "stop". How many generations has it taken for more progressive thoughts to take hold in American culture in general?  Meaningful change takes time.

+7 HS
ISURVIVEDCOOPER's picture

Perhaps, but don't tell that to people like Urban Meyer.

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

Chip's picture

Oh look, another post excusing the refusal to correct inappropriate behavior.  What a surprise.

-8 HS
Dougger's picture

I disagree with that. If nothing was done by the university, every member (past and present) could sue. It is of the utmost importance that action was taken. How else would you suggest they deal with this? I would have liked to see him stay for a year and then they review, but I don't think that would be acceptable.

I like football

-1 HS
ISURVIVEDCOOPER's picture

Though the culture in the western world has become more and more advanced, it has also become one of hypersensitization, immediate gratification, and trending towards the inability to forgive and deeply address the issues that have run through countless centuries.  Mr Waters can be viewed as a victim of this, and I see a bit of his side, but if a leader can't change a deeply entrenched culture, then he should not have been allowed to be in that position in the first place.  For whatever the real reasons behind his firing, if one was that he wasn't making the changes quickly enough, then it starts to become the subjective decision of a few - maybe this will get a legal perspective in the coming year if Waters sues the university for wrongful termination.  

That said, if we wants to get another job, he should talk to Urban F. Meyer with regards to how he handled the secondary: "We blew the whole thing up".  That is a what a leader does.

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

+7 HS
nw_ohio_Buckeye's picture

...yup.

"The minute I think I'm getting mellow, I'm retiring. Who ever heard of a mellow winner?" ~ Woody Hayes 

+1 HS
southbuc's picture

" leader can't change a deeply entrenched culture, then he should not have been allowed to be in that position in the first place. "

So basically most anyone ever elected to any office at any level including our current executive and legislative officials. 

+1 HS
AC1972's picture

 I don't think you can compare UFM's treatment of the secondary with Jon Waters changing the culture in TBDBITL. The football culture was there. UFM just decided that a new scheme and approach was needed, so he threw out the old scheme and got someone with different ideas.

Apples and Oranges, man. 

+3 HS
AndyVance's picture

Amen - it's not even "apples and oranges," it's more like "apples and carburetors."

+4 HS
ISURVIVEDCOOPER's picture

I'm speaking to the ineffectiveness in changing an entrenched culture...

So I disagree from the standpoint that culture change starts with people and ends with people.

The dynamics of people-chemistry is more fragile than one may care for or appreciate.  Plenty of examples to point to including philosophies, beliefs, way of life with LJS vs Mike Vrabel.  So sure, there was a football culture that had Urban's signature all over it even before, but Urban also took measures to change it - however little or drastic we perceive these changes to be remains to be seen, but I think we saw plenty of stories on Urban's first meeting with Tressel/Fickell's players where he demanded respect whether they liked it or not - ie, he got their attention real quick.  

We have also seen that Urban isn't afraid to fail, because not only did he decide to blow up whatever we had the past few years, but he also put that change in motion by having a plan... a plan to implement the change/better the culture and scheme by bringing in a new coordinator who shared his perspective and would enforce it.  

So again, it starts with decisions, and the character of the people involved.  I'm not trying to villainize Waters, or make the university the hero, but when push comes to shove the arguments for why an entrenched culture was hard to change - don't tell me it's not possible to change it quick.  I think the interim leaders will prove my point... when there is a clear change and culture of 'the past behavior no longer flys in our org', change will come with or without the current band members.

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

I do find it interesting that the new interim directors are from the school of music (no opinion either way as I was in neither the band nor the school of music); just find it interesting as I've heard there has been a contentious relationship between the band and the school of music in the past, especially since Waters did not have a doctorate.

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!

+6 HS
AC1972's picture

I predict a huge drop off in band performances...in the short term anyway. I hope the band can find the Urban Meyer of band directors.  They are a huge point of pride for me as an alumn. 

+4 HS
Hovenaut's picture

Tough situation all around. I applaud Waters for giving his side of the story, I just hate that this thing is going hang over the season.

I am not very smart, but I recognize that I am not very smart.

+7 HS
tennbuckeye19's picture

Yep. You know every freakin time the band performs or is on TV this is gonna be brought up. 

+7 HS
Hovenaut's picture

The performances still deserve fair and unbiased attention...I'm already mentally preparing to walk away from the first jackwagon that spits out some dumbassed comment.

And I haven't even thought of game analysts...smh.

Which I guess is inevitable.
 

I am not very smart, but I recognize that I am not very smart.

+7 HS
d5k's picture

Good thing they always cut to Jessie Palmer in the studio instead of showing the band...

Oh dear lord, what if they do one of those light motif Tom Rinaldi pieces on this story?

+3 HS
tennbuckeye19's picture

My guess is that it's already in the works...

JOhio1560's picture

This situation sucks all around.  I feel really bad for a Waters who I believe has only tried to help Ohio State on and off the field.  I hope that the university gives him a second opportunity but I doubt they will.  If anything, I hope his firing will send a clear message to the band members that bad sexual conduct will not be tolerated and that there are consequences for such behavior. 

"You Win With People" - Woody Hayes

+3 HS
cronimi's picture

I agree, but with respect to your last comment -- consequences for whom?? AFAIK, no band member has suffered any consequences as a result of the report or its findings. I *hope* the consequences suffered by Waters are taken to heart by the veteran band members (and alumni) and that they take it upon themselves to make the changes required by the University. But I fear that they will view this as an unnecessary attack on the band and will not decide themselves to make the changes.

+3 HS
JOhio1560's picture

There were consequences for 1. The marching band, and 2. John Waters.  

From what I understand, the members of tOSUMB have a deep love of John Waters.  Based on what I've heard, John has been a great leader of the band on and off the field.  The consequences that resulted from the band's unwillingness to completely change their culture is that they lost Water's leadership and abilities.  The leader plays a huge role in any group or team.  I've seen many a football team devastated by the loss of a coach.  

The band should also be aware of the consequences for John Waters.  The reason that the university gave for Waters firing was that he "did not completely eliminate the band's culture."  It was impossible for John Waters to completely eliminate the culture because some students must have been unwilling to stop.  If all students were willing to refrain themselves from their sexual actions, Waters would not have been fired.  So because some students were unwilling to control their actions, a mostly innocent Waters was fired.

Therefore, the consequences for the students actions were that they lost their beloved leader and the knowledge that their actions were the cause of that.

Sorry if that was too long/confusing.

"You Win With People" - Woody Hayes

+3 HS
cronimi's picture

No, I got that -- but those are all indirect consequences. My point was that who, other than Waters, is being held accountable? Waters wasn't the one doing the bad stuff, he was the one in charge who didn't stop it. So if what was done was so egregious that Waters had to be fired, where are the ramifications for the band members who actually did the 'hazing'? Will any of them be banned from trying out next year? Any that will be prohibited from participating in alumni band weekend? Have/Will any of them be brought before Student Judicial Affairs? They're adults too, who have a student code of conduct and applicable federal/state law to live up to, and it appears none will be held accountable. And it's odd to me that the Administration hasn't done anything to my knowledge with respect to the perpetrators.

+1 HS
nw_ohio_Buckeye's picture

Fairly easy solution...student band member unwilling to change their actions becomes un-student band member. Won't take to many for the rest to figure it out. If you don't want to be that badass, make the slow learners run til they puke. Two years is more than enough time to change the culture of a group of students. Being in the band is a privilege not a right...the leader holds the cards.

"The minute I think I'm getting mellow, I'm retiring. Who ever heard of a mellow winner?" ~ Woody Hayes 

+3 HS
ISURVIVEDCOOPER's picture

^ This.

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

BeijingBucks's picture

It will still remain The Best Damn Band in the Land no matter the membership changes.  That is the culture.  That is the legacy.  And now, just like the football team, the Band has to prove they are better than this sideshow and can still perform at the highest level.

I do wish Waters well and will always remember him for being innovating within the framework of good taste not for the harassment suit.

 

 

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

+4 HS
GoBucks10's picture

I'm concerned they will bring in an outsider to direct tbdbitl which would be a terrible shame. But the argument will be to "clean the culture."

"Because I couldn't go for three."  - Woody Hayes

+1 HS
TheBadOwl's picture

Lol I'm the guy wearing the Yankee hat who says like eight words. They caught me coming out of class and put a camera on me.

WOOHOO IM FAMOUS! 

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

+5 HS
dlb72osu's picture

That whole "I was changing the culture but it has been ingrained for decades and I could not turn it on a dime" is horse shit! Anyone who has had sole responsibility for a group, be it 5 or 205 people, know that you can immediately impact the "culture" of the group. You lay down the terms of the group identity and behavior..."cross the line and you are gone...no band membership, no alumni band membership, no symphony band, no pep band. You are Gone, you are persona non grata!"

It is not my place to say that Waters is guilty or innocent of these allegations. But for a person to say I could not affect the behavior of those under my charge is not a very sound defense. In fact the person should be removed for that alone. That is what being in charge means.

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
- Invictus

+5 HS
Boxley's picture

Water has been in charge for what a year? The previous band director was there for over 30 years, but all of the issues are Waters fault?, in one year?  If anyone is to blame it is the current  administration and their decades of ignoring the situaion. Waters is just tOSU's scapegoat.

Water's is the sole person to blame? Please................

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt

+8 HS
d5k's picture

We've been down this path.  There is a HUGE difference between a group of 5 and 220 + thousands of alumni.  If you start booting people for making dirty jokes all of a sudden the whole organization would revolt.  Leadership is way more complicated than flipping a switch or sending out a memo.

+7 HS
nw_ohio_Buckeye's picture

Yeah, good thing UFM took two years to ease into the situation that was out of control with the football team. That culture of dudes skipping mandatory meetings called by the head coach was "entrenched" and there were lots of players and even more alumni to contend with...smh.

"The minute I think I'm getting mellow, I'm retiring. Who ever heard of a mellow winner?" ~ Woody Hayes 

FairfaxBuckeye's picture

Let's assume you are correct and the "whole organization" revolts.  If that happens, who looks stupid, the band for revolting because they want to keep some questionable traditions, or the band director who is trying to clean things up?

Sure, maybe the band members revolt, but it would not last, becasue they would be on the ridiculous end of the argument.

-1 HS
LouGroza's picture

You are absolutely right. The person in charge lays down the law and any culture can change fairly quickly. It needs to be done as soon as the helm is taken though. After being in the band, and an assistant for ten years, he knew the culture and an immediate heavy hand would have done wonders. Now, if he is trying to say those in high places or those that rub the proper elbows did not want said culture changed and he would pay a price for trying to change it is something else entirely.

+2 HS
nw_ohio_Buckeye's picture

Amen brother...he knew what he was coming into. Should have taken the "New Sheriff in Town" mentality and been the bad guy for a few days. Maybe shit-canned a few members if they wouldn't respect the new rules, but better to have some ticked off parents who think their kid got a raw deal than to be looking for new employment...and on TV under that headline.

"The minute I think I'm getting mellow, I'm retiring. Who ever heard of a mellow winner?" ~ Woody Hayes 

+1 HS
shadybuck's picture

One thing I would like to add to this thought though is that something is ingrained in a culture and someone tries to do away with it, the culture is going to A) find a different way to fulfill said ritual, or B) find something similar to replace it.

Take a look at the mirror lake jump for example, do you think OSU's students are all going to let the school call all the shots and regulate how the ritual is conducted, I remember talks about trying to prevent the mirror lake jump for safety reasons, but we are talking about a ritual ingrained in the culture that may be frowned upon by the general public in America but it's going to take place whether some people like it or not.

All I'm saying there has got to be another side to trying to change an established culture than just nipping it in the butt on day one, there would be resistance from change because lets face it, it's human nature to want to resist change

+2 HS
nw_ohio_Buckeye's picture

Agreed, humans are resistant to change...that's why they need to be led...that's where leaders come in. Sometimes it's called tough love. And as a leader you also have choices. You can choose to lay down the law or you can choose the path of appeasement but if you choose the latter don't be surprised if, when a situation unacceptable in today's culture comes to light, you find yourself on the Today Show.

"The minute I think I'm getting mellow, I'm retiring. Who ever heard of a mellow winner?" ~ Woody Hayes 

+3 HS
AC1972's picture

Spoken like someone that has never run an organization, charged with changing culture.  Ok. So I go into a high performing company, see something I don't like, something that has been engrained into the culture for decades, and start firing people over it. So everyone falls in line out of fear. That is not going to be a high performing and successful organization.

Not good advice, Al "chainsaw" Dunlap. 

+1 HS
nw_ohio_Buckeye's picture

Well I've been in charge at the high leadership level of organizations and I can tell you culture change is possible and it doesn't take 2 years. These are students. Marching Band is an accredited class like any other class. They get classroom credit for it so therefore according to University policy they have to conduct themselves as any other member of a class would. Tell me that somebody in biology who called one of his classmates a derogatory, sexually oriented name, repeatedly, or put a stamp of a penis on one of his classmates forehead's in sociology would not be disciplined and/or the instructor who put up with it wouldn't suffer some fate. UFM didn't take too long to change the culture of another student organization.

"The minute I think I'm getting mellow, I'm retiring. Who ever heard of a mellow winner?" ~ Woody Hayes 

+1 HS
AC1972's picture

UFM didn't change the culture. The culture of Ohio State Football was there before he got there. The culture of the marching band was there for Decades!  Most organizations have not even been in existence for as long as TBDBITL.  Culture is defined by decades of tradition, attitudes and behaviors. The Army. Hewlett-Packard. Ford.   Not a sociology class. How does someone even make that comparison unless they don't understand what culture is?

There are a multitude of books written on the subject, aimed at helping leaders change culture. It is extremely difficult and takes years. Approach it wrong and it will blow up in your face. 

nw_ohio_Buckeye's picture

We can certainly agree to disagree but the reason I used the Sociology analogy is because this isn't The Army or Hewlett-Packard or Ford...this is an educational institution. TBDBITL is made up mostly of students who are only there for a limited period of time and pay for the privilege of being in an organization like the band. Regarding books written on leadership and the ability to change culture, how to do it, etc...there's also a lot of books written on how and what I should eat. Doesn't mean I agree or that they're correct. Regardless, if you're at the top of a student organization when unacceptable "culture" comes to light...well. Finally, if the band members love the program and Waters' leadership so intensely then they should have yielded to the changes he said he was trying to affect instead of continuing to act the way they did and costing him his job & embarrassing the program & university, imho.

"The minute I think I'm getting mellow, I'm retiring. Who ever heard of a mellow winner?" ~ Woody Hayes 

OSUFlash's picture

Hate the Drake!

Had to say that for all the Seinfeld fans out there.

osuflash

+4 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+4 HS
BierStube's picture

"No matter where you go, there you are." B. Banzai

+3 HS
Prickly_Pete's picture

Favorite show. I'd add another upvote if I could. Would somebody please help me out? :)

cdubs's picture

Whether you agree with him being fired or not, I think it will be a cold day in hell before OSU hires Waters back.

+5 HS
FROMTHE18's picture

wont happen but Im up for bringing him back. Can understand why it wont happen and why people don't want him to be hired back, but I think he should be. He's really taken the program to new heights and I think the problems can be fixed with him (as well as without him). I think the people he is responsible for are adults and he can take measures to change the culture but its really up to them to do it for themselves. Im not in the camp that thinks Waters is entirely responsible for the decisions of adults. When I make mistakes, its on me, not anyone else, not my boss, not my friends, no matter the situation, i control my decisions. I think if Waters is getting fired, any student that took part should be expelled. It shouldn't just all fall on Waters. 

+3 HS
dlb72osu's picture

But if your boss says its this way or the highway, adult or not, you can change or leave. Your choice, before it becomes his/her choice.

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
- Invictus

+1 HS
Citrus's picture

11W is the best Buckeye site period. It is the only blog I regularly read. The writing is excellent and I am shocked that it is free. I think the site is a great example of how new media can educate and bring groups together.

BUT, the way 11W initially handled the Watters story is a low point. There was a rush to judgement and a broad brush painting of anyone that disagreed as uncivil or worse. I've spoken to other readers, many of them professionals, that agree on this point (actually they brought it up). I am not trying to be a jerk. Just providing feedback because I want the site to continue to thrive. 

+31 HS
Hovenaut's picture

I'm not offering an opinion either way Cit, but just wanted to acknowledge you offering one that's fair and objective. Excellent representation of the 11W community.

Countering the downer.

I am not very smart, but I recognize that I am not very smart.

+4 HS
Citrus's picture

With the new layout, I wouldn't have known there was a downvoter! Ha. I expect a deluge of them, all in the game. 

+6 HS
Buckeye in Illini country's picture

I remember my stroll like it was yesterday.  The weather was nice that day.

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!

+3 HS
pcg396's picture

Agree completely, Citrus.  On both points. 

Scottsdale Buckeye

+3 HS
d5k's picture

I agree completely.  That is about all I want to add without calling people out.

+1 HS
AndyVance's picture

Citrus, because I think what you've said bears consideration, I am going to play the unofficial 11W ombudsman for a moment. The issue here is the blurring of the lines between journalism and commentary, which I think is important to acknowledge.

Eleven Warriors employs two excellent beat reporters who do an excellent job of offering fair, unbiased reporting of OSU-related news. The site also features a rotating cast of commentators and analysts, many of who go out of their way to point out that they are not reporters nor journalists in the strict sense - DJ Byrnes being the most relevant example, as you've indirectly referenced his Skull Sessions on the Waters case.

While Byrnes and one or two others expressed their opinion on the subject (I seem to recall a Ramzy Tweet in addition to the trademark acerbic Byrnes Skully), the actual coverage of the incident was thorough and relatively objective. While I do not stand with those who say Waters' firing was the only acceptable way to handle the situation, I think the case is fairly made that the University had no choice for a variety of legal and moral reasons, and some of the11W team expressed as much, some more bluntly than others.

i appreciate the sentiment underlying your comment, but I think 11W has done its due diligence on this story, so long as one continues to understand that Skullies are not generally considered journalism in the same sense as a Rowland camp report or Maks feature.

Just one journalist's two cents worth... Thanks for offering your point in such a classy way, btw.

+5 HS
d5k's picture

Andy,

I recall the torches and pitchforks being out in full force in the comments the first 24 hours after this happened.  And there were a few different 11W people on there using broad brushes as Citrus described.  To be opposed to the firing was to be pro-sexual harassment in their words.  To Citrus's point there was a difference between your criticisms of the firing and the strawman that was being burned.

+13 HS
AndyVance's picture

D, that is a fair criticism, and I'll agree that the straw man was getting a lot of heat in those early days. I am not a fan of the "if you're opposed to this, you're automatically in favor of that" rhetoric, and I agree that some staffers took that stance. I just think it was the individual opinions of those writers on display as opposed to an official 11W party line... Sometimes those two things are hard to separate in practice, however.

+1 HS
BeijingBucks's picture

Not to be too offensive...

no. Jokes aside. This site is simply a microcosm ofthe buckeye community. Our diversity (and sheer massive scale) is special. If this was a kumbaya site we would all hate it. Sexual harassment is a big deal for some. And if you really think it can simply be ignored by a university I would like to show you some pictures of the impact craters around happy valley.

Every viewpoint I agree with you should be safe to offer here as long as it civil, apolitical non-douchebagish and derides mr hoke (May he stay there indefinitely).

The emotions have died down now but I for one do not enjoy seeing this in the news. The band has always been sacrosanct. Back off.  

 

 

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

+2 HS
OvalBeachBum's picture

For some reason I remember having to walk around the block a time or two...instant gratification culture at its worst.  While that first 24 was definitely rough (I felt pretty ostracized because of my opinion), I definitely like where the conversation has gone.  The debate (for the most part) has stayed relatively civil ever since, and it's civility and open discussion like this that has made me love this online community.

"In the words of the late great Colonel Sanders, I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Ricky Bobby

+1 HS
Citrus's picture

The reporting has been fair. I certainly get that aspects of the site are editorial in nature. In fact, I enjoy the editorial aspect quite a bit. I carefully added "initially" to my post because I think that 11w has handled things well as the story has evolved. However, initially, the disparaging of 11w members that weren't willing to form a mob and run Watters outta town came from more sources than just DJ. DJ is gonna DJ. The number of 11w personalities expressing a similar sentiment was the troublesome part. 

This site seeks to shape OSU culture. It calls out things like disparaging young people, and tweeting recruits. I've been part of both of those things. I appreciate 11w work in that arena because I think it could do something particularly special: create smarter more thoughtful fans capable of meaningful analysis. In doing so we've got to be careful. We don't want to turn into a group think echo chamber. We don't want to punish well-reasoned dissent. These concepts are often in tension. Most of the time, the proper equilibrium is found. 

+18 HS
AndyVance's picture

This site seeks to shape OSU culture. It calls out things like disparaging young people, and tweeting recruits. I've been part of both of those things. I appreciate 11w work in that arena because I think it could do something particularly special: create smarter more thoughtful fans capable of meaningful analysis. In doing so we've got to be careful. We don't want to turn into a group think echo chamber. We don't want to punish well-reasoned dissent. These concepts are often in tension. Most of the time, the proper equilibrium is found. 

This is is one of the best paragraphs ever written on or about this site. Well said, and I am in complete agreement.

+12 HS
andretolstoy's picture

This seems to be the nature of all things 'news' these days. Go with the sensational in the beginning to garner attention and build the base and then backtrack into objectivity. You get the 'non-journalists' for the beginning, this way you can excuse the behavior under the assumption that they're just stating opinion or aren't really journalists and, then you pull in the real deal to start the news.

Meanwhile, we're all on the website debating. Alas, it's business. But if it's business this means we have to be responsible consumers or you just end up believing anything. And that's how culture falls apart. I've implored you guys not to take things at face value. EVER. Especially if you really love something ... don't listen to the logismoi.

I love Ohio State. I'm a former student. But I also know that the University to be a huge institutionalized bureaucratic monster as well. You don't win if the wheels start turning against you. Waters is done here. I would be very, very surprised if he wasn't. To this end, it doesn't matter what he actually tried to do. I encourage him to save face if he needs too, however. Truth is truth.

I asked the question at the onset: I want to see who they bring in as his replacement. You don't make change at Ohio State quickly without doing harm or changing the form of the matter completely. That is what's scary. A person made a comment above (who was destroyed btw) about a "political replacement" Why does this surprise or offend anyone? This is the reality of world we live in. Entitlement over merit.

Another reality of the matter is that TBDBITL may in fact never be the same. Current culture speaks loudly and it doesn't like old traditional stuff. It also doesn't like even a hit of 'good ol'boy masculinity.'  We have to face this. And that stinks ....

+1 HS
cronimi's picture

Absolutely agree, Citrus. Well said. 

+2 HS
Poison nuts's picture

Citrus, the thoughts you've written on this thread are all very solid. Well done.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

+1 HS
Citrus's picture

Thanks. Now that the bar exam is over and I am moving away from C-Bus, I'll be prowling these part more often to get my Buckeye fix. Hopefully, I can write a few more things that aren't completely worthless.

+3 HS
Baroclinicity's picture

There's a beat writer job available...

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

+1 HS
Citrus's picture

Haha I would be terrible at that. 

+1 HS
40 Degrees North's picture

I concur with the point made by Citrus. The reaction on 11W initially disappointed me too. There was one particular poster, M Man, who made valid points about the state of Title IX today and how it is impacting universities around the country. The criticism of M Man, in my opinion, was over the top.

+2 HS
Nuts4Bucks13's picture

Completely agree, I was very disappointed with the "you either agree with the firing or are an idiot" attitude floated around on the site.

+1 HS
Oyster's picture

If he honestly thinks he will get his job back, I have some oceanfront property to sell him in Kentucky.  His best bet is to clear his name and move on.  ttun's best bet is to hire him right now, no questions asked.

+1 HS
cronimi's picture

Agree he won't get his job back short of a court order (which can happen). As for your final thought... 

+3 HS
Menexenus's picture

I hope some other Big Ten band doesn't hire him while this is all playing out. I don't want TBDBITL's secrets being leaked to our competitors.

Real fans stay for Carmen.

+1 HS
Poison nuts's picture

UUGGGHHH!! The Best Damn Scandel In The Land right now. I mean, it definitely appears that there is more to this than just the report's findings, but it has become such a black eye in so many ways. Many of them have been mentioned above. I can truly see both sides of this (OSU's & Waters') , but the longer it goes on the more the band itself suffers & is seen (READ: perceived by the the general public) as a bunch of kids running around naked & asking the females in the band to do weird things with instruments, or sexual "tricks" or whatever. I'm hoping for a resolution & forward momentum soon.

Edit: DV away if you please, but my point that the band is being unfairly hurt by all of this & that they'll be wrongly perceived is an opinion I'll stand by.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

+2 HS
BTBuckeye's picture

The only way to get his job back is to have the full 100% support of the students in the band. If the band "strikes" or something like that....look out. Until then, he's not going to get his job back.

I'm really curious how much the students in the band actually support him. If they are behind him, then I might support him being reinstated. I only care about what they think, I'm not too concerned with what  "Jerry Wadsworth" and the fuddy duddy board members think. My 2 cents.

+5 HS
Idaho Helga's picture

Excellent point, M Man.  I was so PO'd when they fired Earle I left work for the day.  No amount of support will bring Waters back. 

And I still think the university had no choice after that investigation typed up the report but to fire him.  Consider the Title IX exposure and media blow up if they would have done otherwise.

+3 HS
kc_buck's picture

Great leaders have the courage to give second chances when warranted while poor leaders jump to judgement too easily and/or use their power in excess to show who's the boss. That may not be the case here, but it does make me worry for the future of Buckeye Nation.

+1 HS
Oyster's picture

A second chance would had to have been before his dismissal.  You cannot bring him back now, that is the same as letting the inmates run the asylum.  That would be a bad precedent to set for future personnel actions by the administration.

+2 HS
Nuts4Bucks13's picture

I agree with this point. I think what they should have done is put Waters on administrative leave until the results of the independent investigation are released. That way the university would either (1) have multiple reports to back up their decision to terminate or (2) be able to say "we've done due diligence and we think the band is heading in the right direction." Really hard to go back now that he's been fired, especially given Ohio State's reputation over the last 10  years.

ibuck's picture

It seems that Jon Waters was trying to change the band culture, but perhaps not fast enough for some in the university and School of Music.

In a TEDx talk in May  2014, Waters explains his vision for the band:

Tradition through Innovation, Servant leadership, Person-building process, student leadership and student experience and what they take with them through life.

Though I supported President Drake's action, I think OSU should take another look at their report, upon which his firing seems based.

Our honor defend, we will fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

ExpressiveBuckeye's picture

Whether we like to admit it or not, tOSU is a political machine and this entire situation is political. As much as I love to hear about the news surrounding the greatest university known to man, I am tired of reading about this situation. There is really nothing any of us can do about it.

I know its technically still off-season, but we are on the brink of football season (one I particularly feel will be special for us Buckeyes). Can we let this story go and get back to football?

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

+1 HS
Buckeye in Illini country's picture

I know its technically still off-season, but we are on the brink of football season (one I particularly feel will be special for us Buckeyes). Can we let this story go and get back to football?

TBDBITL is almost just as important a part of football season as the team is.  Take the band out of Ohio Stadium and you rip away a huge part of the experience of being there.

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!

+5 HS
ExpressiveBuckeye's picture

The band is still there. May lose a little without Waters and his rather phenomenal half-time shows...but the band will still be there. With or without Waters, I believe the entrance, Le Regiment, Script Ohio, Hang On Sloopy, Carmen and the familiar favorites are safe.

I agree that the band is a large part of the tradition and the gameday experience (love it and they give me chills), but they are not the reason I show up on Saturdays.

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

+2 HS
cdub4's picture

Not to be argumentative, but it's not even close. I couldn't name a band member or even knew who Jon Waters was until the scandal, but I do know who runs the football team and can name recruits in the '15, '16 and '17 classes. To me personally, the band is insignificant compared to the team. I didn't even watch a halftime show last year.

+1 HS
Denny's picture

#INFOHORNS

Taquitos.

+1 HS
THEOSUfan's picture

After reading the investigative report that the univ put out, hundreds of band alumni comments, and Water's response, I do believe he had taken some steps to limit or do away with some of the most egregious traditions and activities.  However, I think Title IX's sexual harrassment provisions are at the heart of his firing.  I think as soon as this mom complained, the univ lawyers looked at it and told Drake that the university had major exposure to a lawsuit, so Drake did what he had to do to cover the university's ass.  The investigation might have been more of an attempt to justify the firing than an honest search for the full truth.

Regardless, even if Water's firing isn't justified on the grounds that he didn't do enough on the "culture" issues, he did himself in by walking right into the trap the investigators set for him.  Waters didn't know they already had the drum major's tape of him dressing the drum major down - with all it's salty language and threats.  When asked, he categorically denied cursing at and threatening any student.  Oops.  Lying to your employer during an investigation is definitely a firable offence.  The university's lawyers and investigators covered their bases.  Waters is fired and he's going to stay fired.

+6 HS
EvanstonBuckeye's picture

Well-stated. This is so obvious, and the protests so seemingly oblivious to this, that it begs the question of whether some are just burying their heads in the sand.

OSU2002Grad's picture

The biggest problem is I see is that Ohio State was not interested in writing a balanced report. Once they decided they were going the termination route, they knew they had to draft the report in a one-sided manner for legal reasons. Now we see that many of the students named in the report were not even complaining about anything and they're more upset now that the report makes it seem like they should feel sexualized or embarrassed. The whole report is designed to support Waters' termination but all it did was embarrass a proud institution and damage it, possibly beyond repair in the public eye.

Call them biased or allege they have their heads in the sand, but the current and former members of the band understand the situation better than anybody. Their opinion counts for something.

Ohio State released a strong statement today, attempting to stave off this PR problem by attacking Waters again. They even cited the released audio recording ("released") in which Waters verbally criticizes an insubordinate drum major. We've all heard the audio. It's weak and we all know far worse goes on every single day at football practice. For Ohio State to hang their hat on that demonstrates some serious desperation on their part.

No, they're never going to admit they f'd up by firing Waters instead of imposing a lesser form of discipline with guidelines. So they'll never reinstate him. This whole thing is another administration clusterfuck and it sucks for everybody.

+12 HS
roamingbuckeye's picture

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ YES, all of this. At this point is has become a 100% PR/politics situation.

"I just cant wait to play football." -UFM

daveyt11's picture

Having been involved in corporate America the last 25 years...one thing I noticed that will cause swift action by the higher ups and almost a "guilty til proven innocent" philosophy is any form of sexual harassment. I have seen several people fired, (men and women) almost instantaneously over he said, she said etc...The risk of "enabling" is too substantial for corporate CEO's/shareholders to risk. I think President Drake and the Board felt the same way. I have no doubt Waters will get a quiet settlement at some point.

+2 HS
Grayskullsession's picture

First Jim Tressel falls on the sword to protect the integrity of the university and now Jon Waters. Who's next?

"if irony were made of strawberries, we' d all be drinking a lot of smoothies right now."

+4 HS
Rob Reese's picture

Predictably, over at MGoBlue they're feigning outrage and great concern over this story.  Nevermind the community over there collectively rejected the possibility of rape of students by their players, intimidation of victim/witness, assault, and charges of felonious home invasion by their own. 

Now, suddenly, they're all good U.S citizens deeply concerned about the band students at Ohio State and outraged by the alleged activities surrounding the OSU band and the report issued by the university.

I've a hard time anymore distinguishing the preachiness out of that school from a bad hair-piece wearing TV evangelical.

tOSU class of 2009, College of Arts and Sciences

+1 HS
Waltbuck's picture

Problem solved. Stop reading their site.

+5 HS
Rob Reese's picture

Why?  Because I doubt the sincerity and motives of their new-found caring, nature? lol!

The content over there put out by some of the writers is world-class, despite being *GASP*, penned by Michigan alumni and fans.  Not as brilliant as 11W's staffers, but still good.  And not always objective, but I think the intent is there by the staff more often than not. 

The comments section, on the other hand, has in the last few years gone from fairly objective to downright silly most of the time.   Still, one can waddle through the section-8 garbage and unearth some true, good, candid insight. 

I read Penn State's Black Shoe Diaries too. 

tOSU class of 2009, College of Arts and Sciences

-1 HS
M Man's picture

Yes, exactly.  The MGoBoard thread on Waters' campaign for reinstatement is a complete train wreck.  It is hard to find more than a couple of posts that aren't fundamentally wrong in some fashion.

And yes, while the MGoBlog content authored by Brian Cook & Company remains excellent, the MGoBoard's level of discourse has deteriorated very badly.

But on the subject of Waters and TBDBITL, watch out.  You're going to find very few friends on the outside.  There aren't many like me.  Because the irresistible temptation is to side with the Title IX police.  (And, naturally, to pick on any misfortune of your rival.)  That's the easy way out, media-wise.  It's a much harder, much more contentious task, to point out the Title IX politics (undeniable as they may be) behind the human sacrifice of Jon Waters.

I beg all of you; don't get caught up in the usual rivalry crap.  I made a case that I think was explicit as well as exhaustive; the "new" Title IX was the sole basis for reopening Brendan Gibbons' three-year old case at Michigan, and I said so at the time and warned that such a fate would someday soon visit itself on Columbus.  And I said that I'd defend any Buckeye who was put in the same sort of position as Gibbons.  I am doing just that, now.  

+4 HS
Poison nuts's picture

MMan, You have again tied this directly to your stance on Gibbons. And so I'll call bullshit again & say that your feelings on Waters appear more to me as a way to get folks to see the Gibbons case your way, as opposed to any legitimate concern over what has happened with Waters. I say this even as I believe Waters may have gotten a raw deal. My concern is the tying together of the 2 different situations. Whether or not Gibbons is a rapist & whether or not Waters allowed a sexualized culture is not the same case. The 2 cases aren't related. Did title IX play a part in each instance? It definitely did in Waters case. Maybe it did in Gibbons case - not sure. But to constantly tie their names together as if one case is the same as the other is wrong. It's an attorney's tactic. "If the gloves don't fit, you must acquit."  Misdirection. As long as you play the Gibbons card when speaking about Waters, I'll continue to show disdain for the tactic & believe you're not very sincere, but rather looking to support your own cause.

Sorry to consistently speak out on this in a way that appears like an attack. It's not an attack, but I do feel strongly about how you've gone about things here.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

+4 HS
M Man's picture

You have stated the issue quite well, and you have asked the right question.

Did title IX play a part in each instance? It definitely did in Waters case. Maybe it did in Gibbons case - not sure. 

That's it!  That's the issue!  Did Title IX play a part in both cases?  Yes it did.  "It definitely did in Waters' case."  Yes, it did  We agree.  unquestionably, Title IX was a central feature of the Investigative Report from the OSU Office of University Compliance and Integrity.  You can read through that report.  Here's a sample: 

More recently, OCR’s April 4, 2011 Dear Colleague Letter states that: “Title IX also prohibitsgender-based harassment, which may include acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression,intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conductof a sexual nature.”OCR’s 2001 guidance also states that sexual harassment can occur that does not explicitly orimplicitly condition a decision or benefit on submission to sexual conduct, and explains that this typeof harassment is generally referred to as hostile environment harassment. The 2001 guidance listsfactors to determine if a hostile environment has been created... 

That's about as pure a setup for my main point as anybody could ask for.  It's not just "Title IX," which has been around for decades.  It's the post April, 2011 Title IX!  The one now politicized under the OCR's 'Dear Colleague Letter.'

Okay, so now to answer your related question about Gibbons at Michigan.  You said you were "not sure."  I am sure.  And I'll help you out.  Just as with the OSU Investigative Report, the University of Michigan made itself clear about the Gibbons investigation.  First, remember that the circumstances surrounding the Gibbons case arose in November of 2009.  The police investigated.  Gibbons cooperated in the investigation.  The police concluded the investigation.  They made a full report, which became the subject of a later FOIA.  The Ann Arbor Police did not refer a request for a charge to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's office.  So Gibbons was never charged, and prosecutors never sought anything more.  And, significantly, at the time, the University of Michigan did not pursue any student conflict proceedings against Gibbons.

That changed, after April of 2011 and the 'Dear Colleague Letter.'  How do I know that?  The University of Michigan says so. 

On August 18, 2011[Read: in direct response to the Dear Colleague Letter of four months previous], the University of Michigan implemented a revised process for handling allegations of sexual misconduct against students. The process, which will be utilized on an interim basis pending further review of University policies and procedures, requires all allegations of sexual misconduct against students to be reviewed and, if necessary, investigated by the Office of Student Conflict Resolution in coordination with the University’s Title IX Coordinator. If the review and investigation concludes, based on a preponderance of the evidence, that a student is responsible for sexual misconduct, sanctions/interventions will be applied that eliminate the misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects, while honoring the University’s educational mission, promoting safety, and deterring students from behavior that harms or threatens the UM community.  (Footnote omitted.)

Michigan commissioned its own investigation, using the mega-firm Kirkland & Ellis, much like the canned OSU band investigation.  It's something like 50-plus pages so I'll spare you the details.  To summarize, the report details a history of the Title IX changes since the Dear Colleague Letter, with its own section devoted to the Dear Colleague Letter.

I am so glad you asked this question.  This was like standing at home plate in a big empty ballpark and hitting golf balls with a fungo bat.

+1 HS
Poison nuts's picture

You may feel as though you just put me in my place, & you're entitled to feel that way. Enjoy that. And you're right, I did set you you up & you hit a home run...& proved my thoughts about your true intent was correct. About 80% of what you just wrote was related to Brendan Gibbons. You haven't a care about Jon Waters, you only seek to further your cause for Gibbons. A cause you've been relentless about for many months now. While I admire your general tenacity, I hope others here can now see past your charade and realize that the only person who's corner you're in is Gibbons'. Jon Waters has been nothing but a way for you to say I told you so & garner support. Everyone here is free to believe whatever they want to believe, but Brandon Gibbons does not equate to Jon Waters. Not now & not ever & that's been my point. They are 2 separate & completely unrelated cases. But continue to stump away for your own cause...as you've done all along.

BTW - as a point of interest, because I'm truly interested - are you an attorney? Also, I want to state (again) that none of my feelings on why I continue to challenge your tactics have anything at all to do with fan-ship or OSU vs UM...but if nothing else, you're a smart guy & I'd hope you realize that already.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

+1 HS
M Man's picture

You've completely missed the point.  Worse than I had imagined.

I've declared -- at some point in practically every thread that that name of Brendan Gibbons has come up -- that I don't know the details necessary to defend him.  I don't know if Gibbons is guilty of criminal sexual assault or not.  All I know is that he is presumed innocent under our most ancient and basic law, and that he hasn't been charged with anything.

But I've repeatedly said that that isn't even the point.  And Gibbons' personal guilt or innocence is (or should be) of little concern to the Ohio State Buckeyes.

The real point -- and I made this one repeatedly as well -- is that Gibbons' expulsion at Michigan was a pure product of the new Title IX dictates.  What I said when the Gibbons news originally broke early this year, was that whatever Michigan was dealing with in terms of Title IX would soon be seen in Columbus.  I made it clear that I didn't think there were any particular behavioral or disciplinary problems at OSU.  At least none that I knew of.  I detailed all of my thoughts, with the goal of showing how Title IX was now working in the Gibbons case and that something like that could easily happen at Ohio State, without any institutional negligence.

And I was right.  It happened, in Columbus.  A pure Title IX case.  No particular sexual assault "victims."  No sexual harassment "complainants."  Just somebody's mom.  And then an investigation.  Using the new "Dear Colleague" standards.  Explicitly using those standards.  OSU said they were applying the new Title IX standards.

How many times have you read posts from me, warning, just as I have done in this thread, "Don't make this a rivalry thing.  It's not about my team versus your team.  It's about an all-new Title IX casting its influence deeply into collegiate affairs..."?

If you don't get that then you have completely missed practically all of what I've written on this subject.

And I'll add; I take the griping about "No politics!" much more seriously than you know.  The sum and substance of my political argument is nothing more than, "This story has a political angle.  You can hardly talk about this story, and you certainly can't understand it, without the political angle."  I've argued for nothing much beyond the recognition that these two stories -- Gibbons' and Waters' -- would not have arisen as they did without the new Title IX enforcement regime.  And that's not some wild rant on my part.  It is the officially-stated position, respectively, of the University of Michigan and The Ohio State University.   

+1 HS
Poison nuts's picture

I didn't miss the point. You have a cause & you've tied your cause to the Waters situation to gain support for your cause. I contend they're unrelated & simply hate the tactics your using. You rarely mention anything about Waters without also mentioning Gibbons. (Btw, anyone reading this comment, Google "Brendan Gibbons" & see if you think his situation is only related to Title IX, or if there is quite a bit to suggest he may have done something horrible to a female student) If you were compassionate & felt for Waters, why not just talk about him as it relates to him & leave it at that? You've mentioned that "you were right" about it all coming to OSU in almost every post. Why do that over & over? When asked any tough or critical questions, you deflect & misdirect because...MMan. Instead, you seem to fire off meandering canned responses. Almost always smug, & snarky, but without ever directly answering any hard questions you've been posed. Then right back to the same point you've written for months: Gibbons was screwed by Title IX. So really, I guess I've probably just helping you say it a few more times. Like I've said MMan, tactics brother, tactics. Anyhow, looks like I won't be getting through to you, or you to me, so farewell for now, but I'm sure we'll speak again soon...How cool would it be if it was about OSU football?!?! I'd say we could talk about UM football, but that would pretty much be pointless amirite???

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

+2 HS
M Man's picture

If this were just about partisan/fan loyalty, it's a pretty byzantine formulation.

You've got me, a Michigan booster, siding with the just-dismissed Director of Bands for The Ohio State University.  And not just offering a mild defense of Jon Waters, but taking the additional step of suggesting that even the OSU administration may not be entirely to blame.  They were pressured by the Department of Education.

And my defense of Jon Waters follows my assertions that he's done an obviously great job in putting a disciplined and entertaining band on the field; that I know of no serious disciplinary issues in the OSU Athletic Department; that I think Coach Meyer has been an exemplary disciplinarian at OSU; that I have no argument with anything done or not done by Gene Smith...

Whaddaya want from me, man?  How much LESS trolling could you expect me to be?

Perhaps this is the difference between you and me; for me college football is entertainment, and a delightful diversion on the level of an aesthetic interest.  I like the traditions, the bands, the relatively intelligent fans.  I can get enormous pleasure out of a game at the 'Shoe or the Big House.  And not so much (not at all) in an NFL stadium.  I just happen to think that students (and others) getting kicked out of school over a politicized Title IX is a lot more serious than who wins a game on the football field.

+1 HS
Poison nuts's picture

You're amazing. I haven't once called you a troll. You're just comparing 2 separate things that shouldn't be viewed in the same light & I've called you out for it. I've spoken my piece & will move on now.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

cronimi's picture

Now you understand what a "Michigan Man" really is.....

+1 HS
Bourbon Meyer's picture

Waters kept saying the culture was "entrenched in the 1930's". All the more reason to put an end to it in 2014. Jon Waters was the poster boy for "entrenched " culture. The public firing sent a message to the world that Ohio State is not Penn State.

+4 HS
Fatpants's picture

Let's not compare this to Penn State. Child rape wasn't acceptable in the 1930's.
 

+1 HS
BukFan's picture

So he told Gene Smith and Gee?  That seems to be what he said.  And what?  They did nothing either???  He said "he engaged leadership" and ........ (crickets)

roamingbuckeye's picture

Just a few thoughts: first, no way is Waters getting his job back. There's just no chance that OSU could take the chance of looking sympathetic to any sort of harassing culture, however hasty or biased the initial report may look.

BUT, for those who wanted him to change everything overnight - that also just wasn't going to happen.  Sure, he could have banned a lot of the practices outright and discouraged others and, in retrospect, perhaps he should have if only so that his story now would show more effort and ignorance of/disagreement with continuing practices.  But continue they would have, behind his back or underground.  Culture of a group that insular and that long-historied just plain doesn't change that quickly, especially when you have a bunch of college kids feeling like they are being subjected to excessive oversight.  As a few people mentioned above, just look at how Mirror Lake has gone.  The administration has been trying to tamp down or eliminate that event for at least 4 years and they are just starting to make progress.  You know why they didnt ban it outright from the start when they made the decision a few years back? Because it would have happened anyway!

Also, as for the actual lines that were crossed and rules that were broken in the band's "traditions", I encourage everyone to go read the full report and then go read OSU's hazing and harassment restrictions for student organizations. They are very clearly spelled out under one of the links on the Dean of Student Affairs website. With everything that was supposedly going on in the band, about 75% of the things listed in the report do NOT fall under the universities anti-harassment/hazing guidelines (unfortunately, I know these guidelines all too well, from a past experience with hazing allegations in a student organization). The other 25% that crossed the lines - yes, that needed to be dealt with and is completely not acceptable.  However, the detail of the report in reference to individual practices that were really not that bad combined with the actual harassment/hazing only contributed to the somewhat exaggerated negative image of the "culture".

FInally, the biggest question now is how the band will fare moving foward.  They are not getting Waters back but finding the right replacement is key.  Like some others, I know a bit about the tension between the Music School and the band and I am extremely wary of replacing Waters, even temporarily, with people from the Music School.  However you feel about Waters' actions in fixing the band culture, his contributions to the band have made them an international phenomena over the past 2 years and losing that would be devastating,

"I just cant wait to play football." -UFM

+2 HS
sarasotabcg's picture

I wonder if someone will take the time to compare the posts on this thread to prior Waters related threads. Betting there's some comedy gold and fun hypocrisy for all to enjoy.

FYI, the 'victim' referred to as Donk isn't the only one of the 5 'victims' in the report who have publicly stated that they were misrepresented in the report.

I tried to tell you people and got attacked for not buying into the 'OMG Jon Waters is guilty and there's a super duper report to prove it!' crowd.

OSUMAx3's picture

I wanted to smack that Savannah chick! Jon handled himself perfectly!  I think the investigation was not handled properly & Jon was let go prematurely. I still don't understand the freaking Betty Montgomery investigation going on now. Why do they need that if what they did was correctly handled? You mark my words-the Mirror Lake jump will be the next tradition to go. There will be riots when that happens! 

Buckeyeholicwompa's picture

Well my 2 cents on one Tradition....Skull Session is gonna be kinda interesting this year

+2 HS
ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Title IX.  OSU would much rather fire Waters, give him a nice settlement, and move on than have to deal with the federal government.  It's a shame, but it is what it is.

That's the main reason why I think Waters was canned.  As far as the "well I tried to change the culture but it's not that easy"...I can see where he's the leader, and he dictates how it is.  Marching in TBDBITL is a great privilege, not a right.  It's a great experience to be a part of (I'm sure it is, anyway, I wasn't in it myself).  Are the dirty jokes, underwear marches, and the other sexualized behavior that damned important that if Waters were to say "it all stops or you're out", you'd say "this is BS" and walk away from the band?  I can't imagine that anyone who has ever put that uniform on would say that it is that important.  The report may have overstated the culture of the band, and understated Waters' attempt to change it, but it's not like anyone has said "there was nothing at all going on".

Class of 2010.

+5 HS
Deano's picture

First, allow me to say, I understand what the University did and that they had to do it.  

I wouldn't tryout this year.  Not because I need midnight ramp or offensive rookie names to be willing to join the band.  Compliance is going to so far up the band's butt - I wouldn't want to risk the interaction.  (See, I am willing to use phrases like "up the band's butt" without regard for how this is really alluding to non-consensual anal intercourse, which I'm told is a truly horrifying experience).  

I don't know where they are going to be drawing the line in the sand.  I'm concerned enough that I wouldn't like where I'd be relative to that line that I'd choose to stay away.

teddyballgame's picture

Dude isn't willing to fall on the sword like Tress or Gee.

I love it.

+2 HS
BuckeyesMJ's picture

Here's what I don't understand about the whole situation ....

Waters was a member of the band in the 90's and admitted that hazing and sexual harassment went on then, but that he did not agree with it.

Waters was an assistant director for 10 years, knew the same stuff was going on, but said he didn't have the authority to totally change everything.

Waters becomes the band director a couple years ago and some of these things are still happening. 

I realize you're not going to totally change everything over night, but as the leader/director, if you take a hard stance against such behavior and warn band members of consequences then the stuff will stop when folks responsible for such behavior are dismissed from the band! Is there a count of members who have been dismissed for such behavior in the last two years? If things are still going on then some members should have been bounced. Who makes people run down the ramp naked & imitate sexual acts?

*If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem"

The Navy game can't get here soon enough!

+4 HS
elitesmithie's picture

Ok, go take over an orgaization of 500 people and change everything right away and oh by the way kick out dozens(maybe more) of college students for things that have gone on for decades. Let me know how that works out. Also, he wasnt Urban Meyer with rings coming in; he didn't have a doctorate and by alot of accounts was a disputed hire. He couldn't just take away a hundred scholarships on day 1. Sorry, you are living in a dream world if you think thats possible. 

BuckeyesMJ's picture

I think I said, I understand things won't change over night. Here's my point.....you didn't agree with things when you were a member and couldn't totally change them as an assistant - SO - you finally get the director job (2 yrs ago) so it's your time to make things right. Go in and say hey, I realize questionable things have went on in the past, but I'm here to tell you that changes are going to be made. From here on out if I hear of any of this going on you will be disciplined or dismissed. I didn't say get rid of dozens of students. You dismiss or discipline a few ring leaders who think this behavior is cute and eyes will open!

+2 HS
elitesmithie's picture

So youre plan is to dismiss a few people but not all of the "rule breakers"? Yea..that will go over well.

-2 HS
BuckeyesMJ's picture

No, My plan would be to dismiss those who force others to take part by bullying. Or if you don't wanna follow the rules, then yeah, yer gone! No Tolerance! Besides disagreeing with what I say, what would your plan be? Let it go on because that's the way things have always been?  SMH

"He couldn't just take away a hundred scholarships on day 1".............lol He's been the Director for two years! Am I missing something?

+2 HS
Chip's picture

Yes, you are missing something.  This is an Ohio State blog.  The posters are Ohio State fans. The mods are Ohio State fans.  Any viewpoint contesting the qualifications of Ohio State employees will be sharply curtailed.  It was the exact same way at Penn State, and although the transgressions here are not as serious, the mentality is the exact same.

-7 HS
Poison nuts's picture

I will say this about "entrenched cultures"...they exist & aren't easy to change. As someone who's walked into a bad situation (business wise) that I had to manage before, it was easier to affect change once I was there for a while & earned some respect from existing employees than it was to just go in & make all the changes at once, so I can certainly see what he said in the interviews to be the reality of the situation. Still, as stated above, I do hope a resolution & finality happens soon for the sake of the reputation of the band & band members. TBDBITL has always been the best band out & deserves to be seen in a better light than people are currently seeing them in.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

bucksfan92's picture

Go get 'em Jon! He has handled this situation FAR better than the University did, and he has a right not to.  I will say this for certain - Jon Waters will be associated with OSU far longer than Michael Drake.  OSU needs to give the man back his job NOW, and be as public with an apology as they were with the slander a couple weeks ago.  The botched nature of how this was handled is a huge black eye for OSU; one that was completely self-inflicted, and should have never happened.

If he is not reinstated I hope he sues the pants of OSU - he has a rock solid case that will be a slam dunk victory for him.

-1 HS
buckeyehamilton's picture

I was in the OSUMB in the early 80s
This debacle is title 9, and title 9 only. I had the best times without any harassing activities. If Dr Droste came down with a no tolerance policy then there would have been a no tolerance policy
Anyway, the interim directors are qualified and NOTHING will change.
Dr Jones, an interim director, was a member
Scott will do a great job.
An assistant, Lisa Galvin, was in the band as well
Every member knows what is expected and the responsibilities. In some ways the band kinda runs itself because the members take it very serious. Also, all of the shows would have been written by now for the halftime performances.
Dr Waters knew this was headed in the band's way and failed to take title 9 action, whatever that crap that shit is.

+2 HS
Chip's picture

"failed to take title 9 action, whatever that crap that shit is"

Yeah, federal law protecting gender equality and preventing sexual harassment really sucks.

-7 HS
M Man's picture

The law has been around for forty years.  It's hard to blame the pure U.S. Code language of Title IX.  It is important, in this debate, to single out the current administration of Title IX under the presently-staffed Department of Education Office of Civil Rights.  That is how political it is.

-1 HS
Chip's picture

M Man, please never work in higher education. Your political bullshit has plagued this site long enough, and the only reason the mods haven't banned you is because they are similarly blinded by extreme partisan views, particularly Byrnes, Andy, and Ramzy.

-10 HS
M Man's picture

Wait just a minute.  I'm right, and I'm not letting you get out of this one.

We've never had this sort of national crisis in Title IX enforcement before, and the basic act really is -- just as I stated -- about 40 years old.  There's been the same Title IX in the U.S. Code Annotated for all of the decades of TBDITL songbooks, and bus rides, and Midnight Ramps, and nicknames.  More directly and recently, we had a Title IX in 2006 and 2008, when the Wisconsin Marching Band (on two separate road trips to Michigan, lol) engaged in partial stripping, casual sexual contact, and much more.  Twice.  In two separate years.  No Title IX action.  Nobody -- not even at the uber-liberal, ultra-p.c. Madison, Wisconsin campus -- thought about a Title IX action.  They handled the resultant discipline (against band members) as a routine intramural student misconduct issue.  They didn't think about a Title IX action because no one at the Department of Education was threatening them with a loss of federal funding.

That's how much things have changed.  And they have all changed abruptly, since 2011.  And the reason for the change was the policy choice(s) of the current White House.  

Now I really don't care if you want to say, "Damn right things changed; change was what was needed!  Change is the correct policy!"  You can take that position if you want, and I won't bother to fight with you.

What I won't let you do is to deny, falsely, the absolute fact that things have changed, and that they have changed for a clearly identifiable reason.  Because as far as that goes, the two institutions with whom I have been chiefly concerned (Michigan and Ohio State) both essentially agree with me that they have new policies now in effect and both policies were enacted in direct response to the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter.

+1 HS
Chip's picture

Once again, another blatantly political post that will be completely ignored by mods.  Pathetic.  I couldn't help notice that you simply ignore the relevant advancements in Title IX that have contributed to the current landscape, including the Civil Rights Restoration Act, the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act, the Equal Opportunity in Education Act, the 2006 amendments, or the well-publicized sexual misconduct cases including Penn State, the University of Delaware, Western Kentucky, etc.  Nope, it's all Obama.  

Mods, do your fucking job.

-10 HS
M Man's picture

But neither The Ohio State University, nor the University of Michigan cite any other authority.  Certainly none of what you've just speculated about.  Both of OSU and Michigan cite the Dear Colleague Letter which was absolutely Obama Administration policy.

OSU here.  (One document with approximately 24 references to "Title IX," and two paragraphs devoted to the Dear Colleague letter that I have singled out for attention.  Oh; and zero references to the other federal statutory schemes you've mentioned just above.)

Michigan here.  (Just one mention among many others, in a wide variety of other documents.  The Kirkland & Ellis report on Michigan's handling of the Gibbons case -- a report with which I take serious issue -- likewise has two sections devoted to the "Dear Colleague Letter.")

There are going to be lots of well-publicized cases in the very near future.  Cases of college students, suing institutions of higher education for the denial of due process rights stemming from the new tide of Title IX-inspired student discipline proceedings.

So, once again, I have backed up what I wrote previously.

+4 HS
Baroclinicity's picture

Mods, do your fucking job.

Because that will get you far around here...

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

+4 HS
EvanstonBuckeye's picture

The chief flaw of so many of these "you can't change culture overnight" arguments is that the acts in question are, without a doubt, outside the current realms of what is publicly (largely) acceptable and digestible; these are actions bound to get people in trouble if discovered. Sorry, if what could be construed as sexual harassment is happening, it has to stop. Too bad to those whose feelings are hurt with the dissolving of their rituals (which is kind of ironic, really).

Furthermore,the fact that Waters knew of these acts is really pretty benign as he had history in the aforementioned "culture". His participation, however, is not. That, I have to believe, was the damning evidence. Best of luck to him, but if he's really disillusioned as to his dismissal, he's also in firm denial.

+3 HS
HeuermanTheFireman's picture

A few things lead me to think he is wrong and he knows it. In my opinion:

1. Watching his mannerisms lead me to think he is trying to cover his tracks. It seems like a child that just got caught be his parents and is now trying desperately to get out of a spanking.

2. As pointed out he didn't attempt to make corrections to the culture until after magnifying glass was held up. 

3. Waters not suing to for his job back means, to me, that he knows he couldn't win in court. He just wants to clear his name.

Let me add before I get DV'd for having an opinion against the consensus. That I do think the university was a little rash, him being fired could have gone either way. If Gee were still around I feel like Waters would be too, but the fact that the university has been involved in recent, well documented scandals led university leadership to come down swift, and hard.

The person responsible for toes clearly wanted you to stub them.

+3 HS
HeuermanTheFireman's picture

I would like to add that as a leader at a world class institution you are obligated (if not already morally) to put a stop to anything that could be as damaging as this. He owed it to himself to find a way to change the culture.

I bet if Urban Meyer had to change the culture around our football team he would find a way. That, I believe, makes a monumental difference in him not being retained. 

The person responsible for toes clearly wanted you to stub them.

+4 HS
BukFan's picture

Why does Smith and Gee get a pass in all this "culture problem" discussion?   Waters had multiple bosses!

johnblairgobucks's picture

He was fired by his boss........ No?

+1 HS
BukFan's picture

After how many years????

Chip's picture

Well for Gee, it's probably because he didn't give a shit about anything and wasn't exactly known as a disciplinarian.  

-6 HS
OH1O State's picture

Could you imagine if Waters ended up getting a job at M*chigan because of all this???

I'm not saying I endorse it... But just think about that for a minute.

"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."

BHT's picture

No... Please NO!!!!
 

Chip's picture

LOL Michigan wouldn't touch Waters with a ten foot pole.

-4 HS
Montana silver bullet's picture

Chip, how about a little respect and a little less sarcasm.  Little insecure? 

Montana Silver Bullet

+2 HS
Chip's picture

I will never respect a man like Jon Waters.

-8 HS
Buckeye in Illini country's picture

I think Montana was referring to respecting the members, MODs, and writers on this site. 

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!

Fatpants's picture

Doesn't matter. He gone. 

ellspar's picture

There are a few things here that i think caused them to fire him:

I believe i read in the report that the nicknames were published in the band alumni magazine. In the transcript, the administration says they shouldn't be sexual in name, and waters replies "Good Point". Those names getting published in print are a big no-no, and could open the school up for harassment charges.

Midnight Ramp: I understand the reason for this, for helping students feel more secure about performing in front of 100,000+, but once again this opens up harassment charges for the school. The secret culture/don't tell anyone verbage i think was alarming to the administration because it gives the appearance of doing something that's not up to par. What's lost is how this is perceived by the outside world.

Resignation of subordinate: There was a subordinate who resigned due to the excessive drinking and handling of a student who got alcohol poisoning (on the cal trip, i believe). Having a subordinate resign over alcohol issues raises an administrative red flag because the school can be liable.

I think the 3 points correspond to the administrators worry about the schools liability, which is why they terminated him.

Joebobb's picture

I really don't have much of a stake into how the situation plays out but after watching the interviews, I thought Savannah Guthrie treated him very poorly and is nothing but a hack reporter and should go back to the courtroom. She should be ashamed at her interview. The GMA interview was much more respectful

Smanpoint10's picture

I apologize if this has been said because I skipped to the bottom to make my comment, but if Waters knew all of this was going on he had to know it could get him in serious trouble like it ended up doing. And if he knew that and was trying to fix the problems he should have been straight forward with the University to let them know he is fixing some cultural issues. This could have saved him his job

+1 HS
Firedup's picture

Just adding my two cents about changing culture.  

Jon Waters started 2 years ago with his vision of where the band should go. The student leadership he has referenced were not his student leaders but those of the previous regime.  His first group of "rookies" are now entering their third year and many are coming into leadership.  If the culture were to change it starts with these student members in their 3rd year who have only known the culture that Jon Waters has laid out as acceptable for the band.  In this case, I feel that 2 years was not enough time because the students he has been grooming as his own are just now starting to take on leadership and that the leadership in the first 2 years was of the old guard.   It would be fairer in my opinion to come back in year 5 or 6 when the entire organization has been under Waters to evaluate a culture change within the band.  

"Making the Great State of Ohio Proud!" UFM

+1 HS
TossTrap's picture

I do think this does has to do with Title IX, funding and the Feds. But lets be clear Waters was the "Director" and was well paid to understand the legalities, policies, workings and associated implications of his actions and non-actions within his domain. And at his level I will guarantee you that he was well schooled in Federal and State policies and procedures.

It's strictly business in the end, and you get fired when you don't address problems in an efficient and timely manner or when you make errors in judgement and fail to fix problems that might affect the organization as a whole.

Personally I do have to laugh at "he was working to fix the culture within the band". Sort of akin to George Wallace fixing racism in Alabama but wanting to proceed more slowly.

First and goal at the five and Arch is getting the ball.

CowCat's picture

Let's keep in mind that this was no run-of-the-mill band director.  He elevated the marching band to national -- even international prominence -- truly showing that they're the Best Damn Band in the Land.

I live in Seattle now.   While many Oregon/UW/Wazzou fans might dislike our football team (because we own them) they all know, recognize and enjoy our Marching Band.  Everyone knows what "Dotting the I" means.  People here were looking up the band on YouTube just to see their latest spectacle.

All human beings are fallible (see: Woody Hayes, Jim Tressel ... Gary Moeller).  Let's not forget the great things Jon Waters has done for the university and the state of Ohio.

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

+2 HS
45has2's picture

Note to NBC: TBDBITL has no tubas.

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

+1 HS